4 Tips when Looking After Your Kids as a Work-at-Home Dad

Meta-Description: Work-at-home dads can work and still be up for playtime with their kids at home. Here’s how.

Nowadays, it is deemed normal for many dads to work from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More dads have learned to spend time with their family and bond with their kids while still being productive and efficient in their work.

But because most dads are accustomed to working in the office rather than staying at home, it can be a challenge to look after the kids. This is especially true if you are working from home and your spouse needs to occasionally go to the office. If you are a work-at-home dad who needs a little help in taking care of your kids, consider these tips.

Create Boundaries

While setting boundaries between work and your kids seems an achievable feat, it can actually be more difficult especially if you have younger kids. Set a few house rules to avoid interruptions or distractions when you are in a meeting or have a hectic schedule.

If you have a separate home office, keep the door open unless you have a meeting or important online event. Teach your kids to knock, and remind them that if you don’t answer, it means you are busy. You don’t want to end up viral like that dad whose kids waltzed in during an interview with a news anchor.

Set up a child monitor in the room if you don’t have a helper, so that you can still see what your kids are doing. The idea is to teach kids to respect boundaries, not neglect them. Your partner trusts that while they are working in booming business centers like ETON Centris in Quezon City, you are at home caring for the kids. Use the closed-door policy only when necessary.

Make the Most of Your Flexible Work Schedule

One benefit of working from home is that you have a relatively more flexible schedule. Make the most of your flexible work-at-home schedule to do chores, prepare meals, run errands, and reach your deadlines at work. But while you may have a more flexible work schedule, it is still helpful if you plan out what you will do every day so that you can accomplish many tasks on your to-do list.

Wake up earlier so that you can prepare breakfast before you start checking emails and ticking off your daily deadlines. Take breaks during lunch to rest and deal with other chores such as doing the dishes, washing the laundry, or cleaning the house. If you have younger kids, schedule a short playtime session with them during your spare hours.

Setting a schedule is helpful especially when your partner has to go to their office near your condo or house, because you will develop the habit of finishing tasks on time while looking after your kids and your household.

Maximize Nap Time

Because younger kids need around 11-14 hours of sleep daily to grow, make the most of their nap time to finish your tasks for work. Your kids’ napping also creates a quiet environment suitable for virtual meetings and conference calls with your boss and colleagues. The quiet is also suitable for you to focus on your tasks.

Set a schedule for nap time so that you can take or make calls, answer emails, and run errands as well. Maximizing your kids’ nap time will help you be productive as a work-at-home dad, especially when your partner is working away from home.

Take Turns with Your Partner

With quarantine protocols being lifted, many employees have returned to their offices. However, many employees alternate between working in the office and working from home to maximize their resources and finish more tasks efficiently.

If you have a partner who regularly has to go to the office, take advantage of the times that they are working from home so that both of you can look after your kids together and more effectively. Taking turns will also allow you to go to the office if you need to, or run errands without worrying about leaving your kids unattended.

Being a work-at-home dad has become part of the new normal. Balance your time and energy between work and your family. Maximize the time you have to forge deeper relationships with your kids and allow your partner to thrive in their own career amidst COVID-19.

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